Away from the spotlight

Roger Gambba-Jones
Roger Gambba-Jones
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CABINET CALL: By Councillor Roger Gambba-Jones

Anybody who has picked up a local newspaper lately will hopefully have read about the council’s campaign to clean up untidy sites.

Where the owner of the site is unable or unwilling to, the council will use its enforcement powers to do the work and then recover the costs.

The Bull and Monkie site in Spalding is the first one cleared and further action is in hand to deal with the graffiti that remains there.

We hope that other land owners who know their sites need work are more receptive to our requests.

While this high profile activity is going on, the rest of the district is being cared for by our hardworking Environmental Services teams, with the summer months being particularly challenging for our grounds maintenance crews.

Say grounds maintenance to most people and they’ll probably be unsure what you mean, but say grass cutting and most will recall seeing a crew at work.

As always there’s more to it than just cutting the equivalent of 94 football pitches every 15 days.

Many grassed areas, as well as being odd shapes, have trees, bushes and goal posts on them, making the job more time consuming.

For those of you who have witnessed the grass being cut, along with any litter that is present, we appreciate how nonsensical this must seem.

Our crews work to tight timetables, making it impossible for them to litter pick before cutting and we would need to at least double the number of people on each crew, or double the number of crews, to address this.

Where we are made aware of significant littering, we will always try to clear it quickly and before the grass is cut.

Once the grass has stopped growing there are many hundreds of shrubs and bushes to be trimmed and pruned, as well as some 6,000 trees to deal with.

The team also looks after four actual football pitches, two allotment areas and 23 roundabouts on behalf of the county council.

A dedicated team is in place at Ayscoughfee Gardens, covering the gardening work, the litter picking and keeping the gardens open and attended seven days a week.